Clemmons' diagnosis: stress
When Maurice Clemmons was accused of molesting a child and assaulting a sheriff's deputy last May, he was acting bizarrely enough that many suspected he had a mental illness.
Seattle Times staff reporters
Coverage from the days following the Lakewood shootings
When Maurice Clemmons was accused of molesting a child and assaulting a sheriff's deputy in May, he was acting bizarrely enough that many suspected he had a mental illness.
But when psychologists evaluated him in October to determine if he was competent to stand trial, they saw no evidence that he wasn't, according to the evaluation obtained by The News Tribune.
Clemmons answered the evaluators' questions calmly and rationally, with "no evidence of disturbance." He told them he was married, that he ran a landscaping business and that he owned five rental properties. He said he didn't use drugs or alcohol, and that until shortly after the incidents in May, he'd never had mental-health treatment. He also was able to explain court procedures.
But in May, Clemmons told evaluators, he'd been hallucinating about "people drinking blood and people eating babies," the report said. This went on for about three weeks, during which time he wasn't sleeping or eating well. But, he told the psychologists, "I went to a counselor and then things died down." That counselor gave him a diagnosis of "Brief Psychotic Disorder."
Asked if he had thoughts of harming others, he said: "Sometimes I think about it. ... Everybody thinks the police can't lie." But when pressed, he had no specific targets in mind.
In the end, evaluators couldn't come up with a diagnosis for Clemmons, other than stress. However, they did say his violence at an early age, including robbery convictions, suggested he had an "increased risk for future dangerous behavior."
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